Personalities | Henri Wieniawski | Late Romantic | Classical

(Hen’-ri Ven-yov’-ske) 1835–80
Polish composer

Wieniawski was a child prodigy; after studies with Massart at the Paris Conservatoire, he was the youngest at 11 years old to graduate with the Gold Medal. He was also influenced by the Belgian School of Charles-Auguste de Bériot and Henri Vieuxtemps, whom he succeeded as professor at the Brussels Conservatory, following a post at the St Petersburg Conservatory (1860–72). During his short life, Wieniawski gave hundreds of concerts across Europe and America with his brother Josef and with Anton Rubinstein. Renowned for his Bohemian lifestyle, he was also a notable composer. His best-known works include the Second Violin Concerto, a stirring Légende for violin and orchestra (1860), dedicated to his bride Isabella, ‘Russian’ pieces such as the Souvenir de Moscou and the sparkling, virtuoso Polonaise (1853), still a favourite encore.

Recommended Recording:
Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, op. 22, Jascha Heifetz, RCA Victor SO (cond) Izler Solomon (RCA/Sony)

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